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Need Advice

I am now applying for the second time to the RN program; however over the Summer I acquired a job as a CNA and realized after 1 week that my back could not handle the physical demands of the job!! =(

Due to mild deterioration in my lower back (L5-S1)and limited range of motion in my neck (C3-C4 fusion), my doctor said I probably shouldn't be on my feet for long periods (6+ hours). I love the medical field and want to pursue a career in it, but I'm wondering if I will be able to handle the physical demands of Nursing school, let alone being a Nurse. I'm frsutrated to say the least, so I'm looking into Medical Coding/Billing as a back up. I need to pursue something that will allow me to live financially comfortable without trashing my 50 year old body......any suggestions ??? :banghead:

I'm graduating next week with a degree in Billing and Coding. It's not a bad field to be in if you like looking things up...a lot. I think of it as almost detective work. Good luck in whatever you try.

Saved by Grace....thanks for your response. I don't mind detective work =) How is the pay ? You said you got a degree.....I'm asumming you took a 2 yr program for Medical Coding/Billing Specialist ? Can you, would you mind telling me more about this field and what you encountered (pros and cons).....is a course in coding/billing sufficient with a follow up state cert exam ? I'm just trying to weigh out my options, just in case. I live in Sacramento CA

Thanks so much

Yes, I took a 2 year medical billing and coding program. I have an associate degree of applied science. I haven't gotten a job in the field yet so I don't know about pay for sure. I live in Ky and our wage scale here seems much lower anyway. Our teacher told us to expect about $14.00/hr to start and then work our way up. I am taking the NCICS exam this weekend arranged through the school. But from what I've seen online most employers want you to be certified through CPC or AHIMA.

Thanks again and good luck on your job hunting. I too heard employers are looking for certification through CPC or AHIMA.

You can find more information from the American Academy of Professional Coders (AAPC), American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA), American Medical Billing Association (AMBA), RN-coder.com, and American Association of Clinical Coders and Auditors (AACCA) websites.

The two widely sought after certifications in coding are the CPC (Certified Professional Coder) through the AAPC and the CCS (Certified Coding Specialist) through AHIMA.

There are numerous employed coders who became certified through self-study. They picked up coding instruction books, studied what was tested on the exam, and passed. You can do it too! Just google these associations and certifications!

Thanks for the great info, do you know what the pay is like ? If I wanted to work for a hospital, are they looking for any additional skills/training/certs ?

Pay depends on region and specialty. Check these out:



If you wanted to work for a hospital, the CPC-H (from AAPC) and the CCS (from AHIMA) are the two certifications you would want to attain.

If you really wanted to be employable for a hospital, go for the RHIT (Registered Health Information Technician). It requires an Associate of Science degree, and most RHITs are employed in hospitals.


Hope this helps!

Thanks sooo much !!!

Have a great rest of the week :saint:

Let us know how it turns out! I know many people who have made this transition, and have been successful. It just took time, patience, and education (self-study or degree seeking) to finally achieve it. Patience is key!

Join your local AAPC or AHIMA organization. The networking opportunities are endless!

i too am an rn in my 50's , and have been frustrated with re-entering the rn work-force. I have just started in aapc coder on-line course.

any additional info would be appreciated.


You can find more information about salary for coders at:



If you want to work in a hospital, the CPC-H (from AAPC) and the CCS (from AHIMA) are the two certifications you may want to attain.

There are recent graduates (without coding experience) who attained the CCS and CCS-P from AHIMA, and the CPC, CPC-H, and CPC-P from AAPC. Because they got well-credentialed, human resources picked up on their resumes.

These graduates had to pay for their exams out of pocket, but they ended up getting jobs.

Do you have specific questions regarding this field?


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